T-TRAK Modules – The single mainline track modules, part the Fourth.

Some `fill in’ information:

Not a lot of opportunity to be practical this last few days. Soldering is the next major job and I prefer to do that in one or two hour  sessions. Therefore I have written up the following that might help to fill in the gaps in what has been done on the module before I started this BLOG.

Track brands used:

Kato Unitrack is used at the ends of the modules where they need to connect to an adjacent module, as per the T-TRAK standards.

Peco track is used for most of the rest of the modules. The points are Peco 9 inch radius Set-Track.

There are also some lengths of an anonymous brand of track used on some of  the sidings. It is flexible track and has a wide rail-head profile.

The curve of track used on the fuel siding is a piece of  Roco track that is almost 9″ radius and trimmed to be a correcting curve for the Peco point.

Painting the track:

This is always important, it can change the look of your model railway from model train  to model railway. Once I used to paint both the sleepers and the rail the one colour, either a rusty red brown or a muddy tan colour, both of which depended upon what was in the paint box. This is always a step up from un-painted track. For a start it took away the shiny metal of the nickel silver rail (you never see shiny fresh steel rails in real life)  which immediately draws your eyes to the rails. Secondly it reduced the visual height of the rails, always a bonus. At one exhibition I had a layout with both painted and un-painted rail on it. At least one onlooker asked me if I had different types of rail on the layout. Now I paint the rails, and the spikes/chairs that hold them in place,with a rusty brown and the sleepers with a muddy brown. Still not exactly prototype, but a step or two closer. If you ever get a chance to look closely at real railway tracks you can see the varieties of colours that occur depending upon location, function, and frequency of use. Many modelers use air-brushes, I just work along with small brushes. This highlights one of the advantages of T-TRAK modules, you can sit at a table and do this fiddlier work in comparative comfort and also in smaller patches of time because set up and pack up is fairly quick.

Structures:

Goods shed- scratch built from Evergreen brand  styrene and using plans from a old edition of the Australian Model Railway Magazine.

Station building – to be one of these : http://www.spiritdesign.com.au/Smallstation.htm

Super-phosphate agent’s shed – to be scratch built when I can get some photo’s with dimensions.

Rollingstock:

The small blue  diesel shunter in the early photo’s is a Graham Farish/Bachmann model of a British Railways Class 08 shunter. The Victorian Railways imported a fleet of these locos adapted for their own use. They were classified `F’ class and normally worked in suburban Melbourne and the major yards. Eventually this loco will be repainted and fitted with micro-trains couplers. I have some kits for ‘T’ class locos sitting in a box that will eventually provide more suitable rural branchline motive power.

The yellow 4-wheel open wagons are GY class. The brown 4-wheel closed van is a ‘B’ class van. The bogie open wagon is an ELX class. These models are manufactured by Aust-N-Rail through a factory in China (as is most model railway stuff this decade). See the link at the right hand side of this blog.

The tank wagon is a Life-Like model of a U.S. triple dome tank wagon. They are close in appearance to some of the tank wagons used in Victoria and so it is a repaint with a square of black styrene used for the BP logo. The decals are an assortment of small text and dimensional data taken from U.S. rollingstock decal sets. The BP logos and yellow stripes are from the Broad Gauge Bodies HO scale decal set fo BP tank wagons.

Module length:

Single length T-TRAK modules have a track length of 310mm and module body length of 308mm, this allows for the Unitrack to overhang each end by 1mm and so allow for variations in woodwork between modules. As these modules will always be joined together when set up for operation I made their length to be  309mm to reduce the gap between them.

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